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Fun Facts - SACRED TEXTS



Sacred Books

  • The Vedas

    vedas
  • The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic
    Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.The Vedas are apauruseya ("not of human agency").They are supposed to have been directly revealed, and thus are called śruti ("what is heard"), distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smrti ("what is remembered").
    The Vedic texts or śruti are organized around four canonical collections of metrical material known as Saṃhitās, of which the first three are related to the performance of yajna (sacrifice) in historical Vedic religion:

  • The Rigveda, containing hymns to be recited by the hotr;
  • The Yajurveda, containing formulas to be recited by the adhvaryu or officiating priest;
  • The Samaveda, containing formulas to be sung by the udgātr.
  • The fourth is the Atharvaveda, a collection of spells and incantations, apotropaic charms and speculative hymns.

  • The individual verses contained in these compilations are known as mantras.
    Some selected Vedic mantras are still recited at prayers, religious functions
    and other auspicious occasions in contemporary Hinduism. The various Indian philosophies and sects have taken differing positions on the Vedas.
    Schools of Indian philosophy which cite the Vedas as their scriptural authority
    are classified as "orthodox" (āstika).

    Other traditions, notably Buddhism and Jainism, which did not regard the Vedas as authorities are referred to by traditional Hindu texts as "heterodox" or "non-orthodox" (nāstika) schools. In addition to Buddhism and Jainism, Sikhism and Brahmoism,many non-Brahmin Hindus in South India do not accept the authority of the Vedas. Certain South Indian Brahmin communities such as Iyengars consider the Tamil Divya Prabandham or writing of the Alvar saints as equivalent to the Vedas.
    bhagavad gita

    Another important Hindu text is the Bhagavad Gita.This one section of a very long epic poem called the Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita is about 700 verses long and sets out Hindu philosophy, explaining the importance of selflessness,duty,devotion and meditation



  • The Pali Canon

    The Pali Canon is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language.It is the most complete extant early Buddhist canon. It was composed in North India, and preserved orally until it was committed to writing during the Fourth Buddhist Council in Sri Lanka in 29 BCE, approximately four hundred and fifty four years after the death of Shākyamuni.
    pali canon
    First printing of the whole Chinese Buddhist Canon was done by imperial order in China in CE 868.

    The Pāli Canon falls into three general categories, called pitaka . Because of this, the canon is traditionally known as the Tipiṭaka (Sanskrit: Tripiṭaka; "three baskets"). The three pitakas are as follows:

    1. Vinaya Pitaka ("Discipline Basket"), dealing with rules for monks and nuns

    2. Sutta Pitaka (Sutra/Sayings Basket), discourses, mostly ascribed to the Buddha, but some to disciples

    3. Abhidhamma Pitaka, variously described as philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, etc.


    The Vinaya Pitaka and the Sutta Pitaka are remarkably similar to the works of other early Buddhist schools. The Abhidhamma Pitaka however is a strictly Theravada collection, and has little in common with the Abhidhamma works recognized by other Buddhist schools.



  • Guru Granth Sahib

  • The Guru Granth Sahib or Adi Granth, is the religious text of Sikhism. It is a voluminous text of 1430 angs, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh gurus, from 1469 to 1708. It is a collection of hymns (shabda) or baani describing the qualities of God and why one should meditate on God's name. Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708),

    The tenth guru, affirmed the sacred text Adi Granth as his successor, elevating it to Guru Granth Sahib. The text remains the holy scripture of the Sikhs, regarded as the teachings of the Ten Gurus.The role of Adi Granth, as a source or guide of prayer, is pivotal in worship in Sikhism. The Adi Granth was first compiled by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev (1563–1606), from hymns of the first five Sikh gurus and other great saints, or bhagats, including those of the Hindu and Muslim faith.
    Guru Granth Sahib
    After the demise of the tenth Sikh guru many edited copies were prepared for distribution by Baba Deep Singh. It is written in the Gurmukhī script, in melange of various dialects – including Lehndi Punjabi, Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, Sanskrit and Persian – often coalesced under the generic title of Sant Bhasha.




  • The Bible

  • The Bible is any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the contents and the order of the individual books (Biblical canon) vary among denominations. The 24 texts of the Hebrew Bible are divided into 39 books in Christian Old Testaments, and complete Christian Bibles range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible. The Hebrew and Christian Bibles are also important to other Abrahamic religions, including Islam and the Bahá'í Faith, but those religions do not regard them as central religious texts. holy bible

    The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, is divided into three parts: (1) the five books of the Torah ("teaching" or "law"), comprising the origins of the Israelite nation, its laws and its covenant with the God of Israel; (2) the Nevi'im ("prophets"), containing the historic account of ancient Israel and Judah focusing on conflicts between the Israelites and other nations, and conflicts among Israelites – specifically, struggles between believers in "the LORD God" and believers in foreign gods, and the criticism of unethical and unjust behavior of Israelite elites and rulers; and (3) the Ketuvim ("writings"): poetic and philosophical works such as the Psalms and the Book of Job.

    The Christian Bible is divided into two parts. The first is called the Old Testament, containing the (minimum) 39 books of Hebrew Scripture, and the second portion is called the New Testament, containing a set of 27 books. The first four books of the New Testament form the Canonical gospels which recount the life of Jesus and are central to the Christian faith. Christian Bibles include the books of the Hebrew Bible, but arranged in a different order: Jewish Scripture ends with the people of Israel restored to Jerusalem and the temple, whereas the Christian arrangement ends with the book of the prophet Malachi. The oldest surviving Christian Bibles are Greek manuscripts from the 4th century; the oldest complete Jewish Bible is a Greek translation, also dating to the 4th century. The oldest complete manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (the Masoretic text) date from the Middle Ages. The bible was separated into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton, who eventually became a Roman Catholic Archbishop, and into verses in the 16th century by Robert Estienne, a French printer.

    During the three centuries following the establishment of Christianity in the 1st century, Church Fathers compiled Gospel accounts and letters of apostles into a Christian Bible which became known as the New Testament. The Old and New Testaments together are commonly referred to as "The Holy Bible" (τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια). Many Christians consider the text of the Bible to be divinely inspired, and cite passages in the Bible itself as support for this belief. The canonical composition of the Old Testament is under dispute between Christian groups: Protestants hold only the books of the Hebrew Bible to be canonical; Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox additionally consider the deuterocanonical books, a group of Jewish books, to be canonical. The New Testament is composed of the Gospels ("good news"), the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles (letters), and the Book of Revelation.

    The Bible is the best-selling book in history with approximate sales estimates ranging from 2.5 billion to 6 billion, and annual sales estimated at 25 million Bibles.

    • The Last Supper

    last supper bible
    The Last Supper,painted by Pomponio Amalteo in 1574

    The Last Supper is an event described in the New Testament,which took place the day before jesus was crucified.Jesus's 12 followers,called disciples,were all there.Following his crucifixion, they elected Matthias and Paul of Tarsus to join them,makin a total of 14.Together they are known as the apostles and are regarded as the original Christians who acted as missionaries, spreading jesus's teachings.All except judas Iscariot later became saints in the Catholic church and have feast days devoted to them, listed above (some dates differ in other church traditions). The historical accounts of their lives contain many conflicting legends and details of their martydoms.


  • Quran

  • The Quran literally meaning "the recitation", also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Al-Coran, Coran, Kuran, and Al-Qur'an, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎, Allah). It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language.quran

    The Quran is composed of verses (Ayah) that make up 114 chapters (suras) of unequal length which are classified either as Meccan (المكية) or Medinan (المدينية) depending upon the place and time of their claimed revelation. Muslims believe the Quran to be verbally revealed through angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) from God to Muhammad gradually over a period of approximately 23 years beginning in 610 CE, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death.

    Shortly after Muhammad's death the Quran was compiled into a single book by order of the first Caliph Abu Bakr and at the suggestion of his future successor Umar. Hafsa, Muhammad's widow and Caliph Umar's daughter, was entrusted with that Quranic text after the second Caliph Umar died. When the third Caliph Uthman began noticing slight differences in pronunciation of the Qur'anic Arabic by those whose dialect was not that of the Quraish, sought Hafsa's permission to use her text and commissioned a committee to produce a standard copy of the text of Qur'an to which added diacritical marks ensured correct pronunciation, and to be set as the standard dialect, the Quraish dialect, now known as Fus'ha (Modern Standard Arabic) (see Origin and development of the Qur'an). Five of these original Qur'ans (Mus'haf) were sent to the major Muslim cities of the era, with Uthman keeping one for his own use in Medina. Any variations to standardized text were invalidated and ordered to be destroyed, all other versions of the Qur'an copied by scribes subsequently were from this codex. This process of formalization is known as the "Uthmanic recension". The present form of the Quran text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.

    Muslims regard the Quran as the main miracle of Muhammad, the proof of his prophethood and the culmination of a series of divine messages that started with the messages revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet, and continued with the Suhuf Ibrahim (Scrolls of Abraham), the Tawrat (Torah or Pentateuch) of Moses, the Zabur (Tehillim or Book of Psalms) of David, and the Injil (Gospel) of Jesus. The Quran assumes familiarity with major narratives recounted in Jewish and Christian scriptures, summarizing some, dwelling at length on others and in some cases presenting alternative accounts and interpretations of events. The Quran describes itself as a book of guidance, sometimes offering detailed accounts of specific historical events, and often emphasizing the moral significance of an event over its narrative sequence